Netflix reportedly bid for Formula 1 rights but lost to Disney’s ESPN


Ferrari F1 car at the Canadian Grand Prix – Photo: Getty Images

Formula 1 is a hot commodity with its growing popularity around the world in recent years. While Netflix invests in sports documentaries, F1: drive to surviveThe broadcaster is reportedly interested in getting more involved in the action, but despite the offer, it won’t be broadcasting live races in the US anytime soon, according to new reports.

With Netflix’s escalating challenges lately, Netflix is ​​changing the course of many of its biggest hurdles. The largest is for commercials, which it hopes to introduce in late 2022, and the other is apparently involved in live sports.

Formula 1 is an obvious choice for Netflix when it comes to participation in live sports, especially with its connection to sports via Drive to Survive. Other reasons to invest in the sport are that the demand is still growing, it would be great for rotation almost all year round, and the third is that its popularity has spread across the world, not just in a particular country.

But Netflix’s role in creating a Formula 1 boom is controversial. Many have argued F1: drive to surviveAn accompanying documentary that came out shortly before the new seasons can be directly attributed, but the truth is probably a little darker.

Netflix contributor Entertainment Strategy Guy argued that the narrative behind Netflix being the sole reason for growth is exaggerated. He wrote to The Ankler, “Formula 1 has definitely seen a resurgence in America, but Netflix is ​​only playing a partial (perhaps tangential) role in the story.”

In general, he states that there are four main reasons for growth:

“Cause 1: Liberty Media is buying a majority stake in Formula 1, which ended in January 2017.

Reason 2: ESPN has bought the rights to Formula 1, showing most races on Sunday mornings from 2018.

Reason 3: Netflix started streaming Formula 1: Drive to Survive in 2019.

Reason 4: Nielsen adds “out of home” viewing to the standard linear rating measurement. »

ESPN wins F1 rights through 2025, but Netflix is ​​in contention

For years, live sports haven’t been a priority on Netflix, but the first real instance of Netflix showing minimal attention was in July 2021, when Ted Sarandos said “never say never.” Since then, it’s been hard to ignore the steady pace of the rumors.

US Formula 1 rights were seized during 2022, when Netflix entered the equation.

In early June 2022, BusinessInsider said it’s a four-horse race with ESPN, NBCUniversal, Amazon and Netflix offerings. That was great news, but a source told BusinessInsider that Netflix’s releases are “complicated” because “the company doesn’t have an in-house sports broker.”

Now thanks to a new SBJ report (released June 24), Netflix tried to bid for Formula 1 rights in the US, ultimately unsuccessful, and Liberty Media opted to renew with ESPN despite an offer. Top of Amazon. .

Disney’s ESPN has reportedly won the rights to continue showing the races through 2025, but at a significant cost. Reportedly, they pay up to $90 million a year, up from the $5 million they pay annually between 2019 and 2022. In addition, they will only broadcast selected races on ESPN+.

The report includes the following statements about Netflix:

“Netflix argued with F1 and indeed made an offer, but their offer was far from profitable. F1 bosses have made it clear that they are not yet ready to put all their races on a streaming service.

f1 driver squad trying to survive season 4

Drive to Survive Season 4 – Image: Box to Box Movies/Netflix

Formula 1 rights outside the United States may be in the balance in the coming years. In the UK, Sky has the rights until 2024, and in France, Canal+ has the rights until 2029.

Of course, Netflix will continue to produce and release new seasons. drive to survive. It has been renewed for a fifth and sixth season, with season 5 scheduled for early 2023. It is also expanding its line of sports documentaries with new series covering the PGA Tour and professional tennis.

Frustrated that Netflix hasn’t shown F1 recently? Let us know in the comments.